The Ford Falcon birthed the Mustang, but also this sweet Ranchero
The combination of car and truck is a polarizing proposition. One could argue that utes offer less interior space than a car and less bed space than a normal pickup truck. Conversely, they offer a better ride than a truck, with more utility than a car. No matter where you fall on the does-this-really-makes-sense spectrum, you have to agree that the 1960–65 Ford Ranchero is a sweet-looking ride. Could this red 1963 example from eBay tempt you into becoming a truck/car owner?
The Ranchero nameplate first appeared in 1957, based on Ford’s full-size car platform. Thanks to its shared bones with the Ranch Wagon and Courier sedan delivery, the Ranchero started off strong with utility chops. For 1960, though, the full-size platform was no longer deemed an acceptable base for the Ranchero style. Rather than send the Ranchero out to pasture, Ford went compact.
The Falcon was new for 1960, and so was unibody construction. The larger F100 pickup utilized an integrated bed and cab over a ladder frame, so this meant the Falcon Ranchero was not only a step down in size and price from the full-size truck, it also shared some of the looks of its larger stablemate. Buyers were given the choice of inline-six or V-8 engines, backed by manual or automatic transmissions.
This example on eBay has an interesting combination of the 260-cubic-inch V-8 and a four-speed manual. The listing shows photos of valve covers and an air cleaner stating 289ci, which is a popular swap since the 260 and 289 have similar exterior dimensions. Any horsepower increase over the 164 hp rating of the 260 cid would likely make this a fun driver thanks to the overall light weight.
The black interior provides a nice contrast to the bright red exterior. A three-spoke steering wheel gives that vintage thin-rimmed feel, and a basic gauge package provides just the important details. The driver selects gears with a T-handle shifter from the comfort of a nice, wide bench seat.
Interest in vintage trucks has driven prices up, and the Ranchero has yet to see the market transition over as many buyers are priced out of the full-size pickups they lust after. That means now might be just the right time to buy one if you have been thinking about adding one to your garage.
So could this blend of utility and comfort be the perfect fit for your needs? Let us know in the comments below.